Video of Rep. Juan Mendez’s Godless Invocation in the Arizona House of Representatives

Yesterday, I posted about how Rep. Juan Mendez, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, delivered a godless invocation before yesterday’s afternoon session.

Video of that invocation is now online:

Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads. I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you to take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.

This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, many moments of tension, of ideological division, of frustration. But this is also a room where, as my Secular Humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love…

Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” There is, in the political process, much to bear. In this room, let us cherish and celebrate our shared humanness, our shared capacity for reason and compassion, our shared love for the people of our state, for our Constitution, for our democracy — and let us root our policymaking process in these values that are relevant to all Arizonans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief. In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

I love how the other House members in that video seem out of place, unsure of what to do, because this is an atypical, non-religious invocation.

Mendez appears nervous, too, but I hope he knows how much our community appreciates what he did — and the risk he took in doing it — and that he continues to be a voice of reason in a political machine that almost always speaks the language of religion.

(via the Secular Coalition for Arizona)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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